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Thread: baritone's and tenors tuned in fifths

  1. #1
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    Default baritone's and tenors tuned in fifths

    Does anyone have a tenor or baritone tuned in fifths? What strings are you using?

  2. #2
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    I tried tuning my baritone in fifths for a couple of weeks as an experiment. It's a Lanikai CK-B strung with the regular DGBE d'Addario nyltech set, with lower 2 wound. It seemed to work fine, but I can't vouch for long-term stability of the strings (I put it back to DGBE after a couple of weeks) and I was concerned about the extra tension on the instrument. Judging from the feel of the strings, it didn't seem too extreme. The (wound) D string tuned down a step was not too loose/floppy, either--it sounded nicely, no fret buzz.

    I might try it again one day, but I have my hands full with instruments at the moment without learning another new tuning. I just retuned my tenor banjo to DGBE for the same reason -- got tired of it sitting around waiting for me to learn the new chord shapes!

  3. #3
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    I just received this good news from a SouthCoast strings bulletin today:

    5ths Tuning Sets -

    5ths tuning refers to set-ups where the notes of a linear tuning are spaced in 5 step intervals, instead of 4 step intervals like the Ukulele and Guitar. The Violin and Mandolin families are tuned in this fashion, and it's also the most common tuning for the Tenor Banjo and Tenor Guitar. We had a 5ths tuning set once, but discontinued it over a year ago. With the wide range of notes that linear 5ths requires, using classical strings involves compromises that in the end we decided to do without.

    We're very pleased to have finally arrived at a beautiful resolution to that situation. Drawing on a variant from the Tenor Banjo and another from the Tenor Guitar, we will now offer strings for the two most common 5ths tunings for all Ukulele sizes.

    5ths tuning on the Ukulele is now no longer something you can "kinda sorta" get by with, it's a valid option with sounds so lovely that a standard tuned player may have to think twice. We won't be putting out a String Tips for these sets, but details are on our new 5ths Tuning page, here:

    http://www.southcoastukes.com/tips.htm

  4. #4
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    new brunswick, new jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sargent View Post
    Does anyone have a tenor or baritone tuned in fifths? What strings are you using?
    I don't really like the sound of 5ths tuning, i cant stand the sound of mandolin's or alike instruments is like nails on a chalk board for me.
    Current Ukes:
    Makala Shark Soprano (high g)
    Vorson Steel String Solid Body Electric Tenor (low g)

    Electric Guitar/Electric Ukulele Based drone ambient music
    http://iamesper.bandcamp.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamesperambient View Post
    I don't really like the sound of 5ths tuning, i cant stand the sound of mandolin's or alike instruments is like nails on a chalk board for me.
    Great news! Purchase of these strings is not mandatory!

  6. #6
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    new brunswick, new jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke El U View Post
    Great news! Purchase of these strings is not mandatory!
    i saw a video where certain kala ukes came set up for 5th's thought it sounded awful.
    If i wanted to play that style i would just get a mandolin or bouzouki etc
    Actually bouzoukis sound nicer with the lower tuning, i think its the sharpness
    of 5ths on higher range instruments on lower tuned instruments I think it can sound decent
    (like a tenor guitar tuned in 5th' works for me actually at least as a listener).
    Current Ukes:
    Makala Shark Soprano (high g)
    Vorson Steel String Solid Body Electric Tenor (low g)

    Electric Guitar/Electric Ukulele Based drone ambient music
    http://iamesper.bandcamp.com

  7. #7
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Default

    I did a little more research and discovered that Southcoast's set is designed for re-entrant fifths tuning, with the low C raised to middle C (cGDA). They provide a well-reasoned and articulated explanation on their site why low C isn't a great idea on a baritone uke due to the higher resonant frequency (compared to tenor guitar) of the soundbox.

    But... if you just like to mess around with this stuff like I do, I've found that low C sounds decent on bari. And I happened to discover that d'Addario makes a 6-string nylon set for requinto guitar, which is typically an inch or two longer in scale than baritone uke. That set is designed for traditional requinto tuning, a fifth up from regular guitar (A d g c' e' a').

    So using that set, here's a combo that should work for bari fifths/linear tuning (low C):

    (low) A string in 4th position, tuned up to C (bari scale is shorter, so this should be safe--but I've found that standard bari d works OK dropped to c; or alternately, use the requinto d string and tune down to c)
    g string in 3rd position, tuned to g
    c' string in 2nd position, tuned up to d'
    a' string in 1st position, tuned to a'

    d and e' strings would be unused.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    new brunswick, new jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sargent View Post
    Does anyone have a tenor or baritone tuned in fifths? What strings are you using?
    i tried to put my electric baritone in fifths a few weeks ago, honestly i don't care for the sound.
    I'm good with good old GCEA and DGBE (both linear and reentrant) not big into the 5ths tuning.
    Current Ukes:
    Makala Shark Soprano (high g)
    Vorson Steel String Solid Body Electric Tenor (low g)

    Electric Guitar/Electric Ukulele Based drone ambient music
    http://iamesper.bandcamp.com

  9. #9
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    Sep 2013
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    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!
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    I've got a small (child's) guitar with a 19" scale-length, so much the same size as a baritone ukulele, that I've re-strung with just four nylon strings in fifths, specifically GDAE (low to high) at the same pitch as a normal guitar. I used the original strings that were on the instrument when I acquired it, the wound A, wound D, plain G and E and re-grooved the nut for equi-distant spacing.

    My point is, on a larger instrument, normal guitar strings work fine
    Last edited by kypfer; 06-12-2014 at 10:49 PM. Reason: typo
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  10. #10
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    I tried it on a soprano, to see if I could play some of the tunes I learned on a mando on it. It sounded awful. I bought a mandolin.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

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